I have a confession to make here when I first heard about self-care I thought it was one of those fads, something like pampering yourself silly at a fancy spa.
But I couldn’t have been be more wrong. Self-care goes so much deeper than just physical beautification.
The question “what is self-care?” is so vaguely defined at times that its importance is lost on a layman.
What do you do when you are physically tired the obvious answer to this question would be rest duh!
But what do you do when your mind is mentally exhausted and you aren’t even aware of it? The simple answer would be you indulge in some self care.
Broadly speaking self-care is any activity that lets you to distress your mind, body and soul.
In an age where terms like “hustle” and “fake it till you make it” are the new normal, most humans are incredibly tired and exhausted mentally.
Unfortunately most of them remain unaware about their mental health or don’t have a supportive environment to speak about their issues.
So this post aims at providing some useful insights for beginners who are new to self-care.
In this post you will know why you should practice self-care, what the different kinds of self-care and why you need some daily self-care rituals in life.
To understand and practice self care better I have created a free self-care workbook that is absolutely free for you to download from the resource library. Grab it now and begin your journey towards better mental health.
Bursting some Self-care Myths
An important reason to practice self-care is if you can’t take care of yourself or if you are mentally stressed how you are going to take care of those dependent on you?
Self-care can help you manage your stress more effectively, boost your productivity as well as positive thinking.
Here are 4 myths associated with the term self-care.
1. Self-care is not for everyone
Everyone can and should practice self-care.
Self-care isn’t only for those who suffer from depression or other mental health issues.
Most of us today have extremely busy lives where we might not be exactly depressed but we are certainly stressed so little self-care will only benefit you.
2. Waste of time
There are some people who prefer to save energy for other things.
For example the time used in self-care could be used to do other important things like chasing an important sales target or shopping for groceries.
Yes both these things are very important but regular self-care will only make you more productive and then you can concentrate better on these tasks.
3. Impossible to practice self-care daily
Self-care is often simple day to day activities like reading a book, spending some quality time with your spouse/partner, listening to some music.
You don’t need some extensive arrangement to practice self-care.
You deserve that uninterrupted ‘me time’ where you can charge yourself for a better tomorrow.
4. Self-Care is Over-Indulgence
The emphasis on self-care has always been on engaging in constructive activities which relaxes both your body and mind.
These these activities are not to be confused with over-indulgence, like having junk food everyday or impulsive spending habits.
An occasional splurge is not a bad thing after all we all work hard and deserve to feel good.
But if your spend-thrift nature is eating into your savings then it is not self-care, it is a serious case of bad habit and over-indulgence.
What Are Different Types of Self-Care?
There are different types of self-care you can practice, to live more happier and productive lives.
Here are some common types of self-care techniques.
Our emotional or mental health has direct impact on our physical well-being.
Thankfully today there is a greater emphasis on mental health.
Negative emotions like jealousy, stress, anger, sadness etc leave a stronger imprint on our minds than positive ones.
A lot of us don’t like dealing with negative emotions, we hide it, evade it, sometimes we cannot fully comprehend it or accept it.
Therefore deal with your negative emotions by accepting you are experiencing some sort of negativity and it’s perfectly normal to feel like this.
Try these tips
1.Start journaling, penned down your thoughts on a blank sheet.
Your mind will feel much lighter. Everyone has been raving about the five minute journal, a simplistic guide for beginners to get started.
2. Art therapy is the ultimate stress-buster.
If we are friends on Instagram you will know how much I love doodling. Get some doodling pens or some coloring books and let your mind glide your hand.
3. Let go off toxic relationships. Your happiness matters and any person who gives you stress is not worth being in your life.
4. Don’t ignore your mental health issues. If you think you need professional help then you must seek it.
5. If you feel mentally tired and stressed out then take the time to compose yourself.
6. Express your emotions, like if you need to cry then cry out.
7. Talk to people you trust. Have a good support group which can be your emotional anchor.
8. Dry to dwell on happy memories like listening to old songs, looking at old photo albums etc.
9. Practice breathing exercises to have a better grip on your emotions. Try some deep breathing during the busy mid-morning hours and before bedtime.
Spiritual self care is all about attracting positive energy in your life by connecting with a higher power.
This power could be anything, a faith like the law of attraction, your religious beliefs or meditation.
It should be something which gives your life a deeper meaning and purpose.
Spiritual self care is effective in increasing your mental strength.
We have all phases where we feel low and unhappy during such times we can place our trust in some higher power as per our faith.
Take note of these tips
1. Read up on meditation techniques and try to include some amount of meditation in your daily lives
2. Be more alert, aware and live in the present.
3. Practice mindfulness by being aware of all the five senses of smell, touch, taste, sight and sound. This can be done in the following ways like:
4. Walking bare-footed on grass in the early morning or cuddling your pet.
5. Observing nature like the sunrise, birds, trees, leaves, flowers etc.
6. Inhaling deeply the scent of a flower or aroma of food.
7. Taking a moment to savor the food you are eating.
8. Listening to the sound of your own breath.
9. Practicing gratitude for this amazing life and fact that you are living this moment.
AA fit body harbors a fit mind so physical self-care is indulging in any activity that contributes to your physical well-being. These are some tips.
1. Incorporate some sort of exercise routine in your life. You hate the gym (great me too) try brisk walking, dancing, cycling, yoga or any activity that energizes you.
2. Try to track your fitness through smart trackers.
3. A fit body is 30% exercise and 70% diet so take care proper care of your diet.
4. Don’t ignore hunger pangs while working.
5. Get health check-ups once in 6 months.
6. Get your daily dose of adequate rest and sleep. If you need a power nap in the afternoon and have the luxury of taking it then by all means you should take it.
7. Don’t push your body to work when you are unwell.
8. If you don’t feel like attending social obligations then don’t attend, also don’t feel guilty about it.
Physical self-care means doing things that instantly lifts your mood.
Every now and then you deserve to indulge yourself in these activities.
1. Take short vacations
2. Pick up a hobby or an activity you like painting, music, reading, dancing, baking, the list is endless.
3.Art therapy, pet therapy, music therapy are also very effective to reduce stress, indulge in these activities.
4. Groom, dress up for and feel good about yourself.
5. Take a warm bath before bedtime and feel all the tension reducing. Use bathing salts and essential oils.
6. And yes take that spa day because occasional pampering is not a bad thing.
7. Listen to self-development podcasts. (Tim Ferris anyone?)
Another aspect of physical self-care is aimed to make you more more organised so that life becomes easier.
Develop a saving habit. Try to save some every month by making financial commitments to yourself.
No one likes bills or taxes and but we have to pay these and pending bills and taxes are like those nagging headache. So pay these on time.
We humans are social beings we need other humans to survive. Social self-care is important to nurture your relationship.
It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or you don’t have a large social circle but whatever relationships you form try to care for it.
You may have a small circle of family and friends and can be really happy if you are fully invested in those people.
Reach out to people who genuinely care for you.
Try these tips
1. Spend time with your loved ones.
2. Plan something like family movie night or girls night out or a trip together.
3. Keep channels of communication open even if that person is away from you. You never know an occasional phone call or message can lift up the spirit of the other person.
Final Thoughts on Self-Care for Beginners
So there you go lovely people these are some of the ways to practice self-care in your life.
Do take time to nurture yourself because it is essential for your mental peace, self-esteem and most importantly your happiness.
Thank you for reading this post and I hope you liked it.
Before you leave I would like to remind you again, I have a free self-care workbook which is absolutely free to download, use it and begin your journey towards better mental health.